Health and Safety Guidance Document for 2021-22

FCPS Guidance on School Health Practices

FCPS Achieves WELL Health-Safety Rating™

FCPS earned the WELL Health-Safety Rating for all schools and offices.  In so doing, FCPS has joined a community of organizations pushing the boundaries of what health and safety look like in a post-coronavirus environment.

Consistent with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the Virginia Department of Education, (VDOE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FCPS is providing the following:

Wash your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Face Masks (Cloth or Disposable)

FCPS has revised requirements for face covering that are aligned with the Code of Virginia;  the Virginia Department of Health (VDH); the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI); and federal guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

FCPS requires that all students and staff wear a face covering when indoors (except while actively eating/drinking) on school property (to include the buildings, school buses and other school provided vehicles) when the CDC COVID-19 Community Level for Fairfax County  is high.

In alignment with the Code of Virginia, the parent/legal guardian of any child enrolled in an FCPS school, may elect for such child to not wear a face covering while on school property (to include FCPS buildings). No parent/legal guardian making such an election shall be required to provide a reason or any certification of the child's health or education status and no student shall suffer any adverse disciplinary or academic consequences as a result of this election. 

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated health guidance that included new metrics for determining COVID-19 community levels
    • Based on this new guidance:
      • Fairfax County’s current community level is low.
      • FCPS will now adjust our COVID-19 roll back plan
  • As of March 1, staff, students and visitors may elect to not wear a mask. 
    • No form is required to make this election.
  • Mask wearing continues to apply to the following scenarios: 
    • Federal programs(staff and students):
      • Head Start programs: this applies to PK (Pre-Kindergarten) /FECEP (Family and Early Childhood Education Program) students that are co-enrolled in Head Start classrooms. It does NOT apply to PK/FECEP classrooms that do NOT include Head Start students.
    • During off-campus activity (e.g., field trips) where masks are required by the venue (staff and students)
    • When attending school on Day 6-10 of a quarantine (families who do not want their student to wear a mask on these days will need to complete the full 10-day quarantine at home - honor system)
    • When participating in Test to Stay (honor system)
  • There may also be times when individual schools or subsets of schools encourage all families to have their students wear masks to protect the public health at the direction of the Fairfax County  Health Department (FCHD). 

LOW

MEDIUM

HIGH

 

People may choose to mask at any time.  People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.

  • Recommended types of cloth face coverings/masks
    • Cloth face coverings/masks made with breathable fabric (such as cotton).
    • Cloth face coverings/masks with two or three layers.
    • Cloth face coverings/masks with nose wire
    • Wear a gaiter with two layers or fold it to make two layers.
  • Specific guidance regarding types of PPE can be found at: PPE Strategies: Prevention of Infectious Diseases such as COVID-19

Layered Prevention Strategies in Special Settings

Setting Face Masks Physical Distancing
Buses/Public Transportation

When COVID-19 community levels are low or medium, masks are optional for all staff in schools and offices and on FCPS buses/ vans.

Not Applicable
Cafeteria Required only for federal programs and/or on federal property while not actively eating or drinking:
•    Head Start programs (staff and students)

Physical distancing*, to the extent possible. while masks are removed (i.e., while eating or drinking). 
Because FCPS will be serving over 99% of students in person, physical distancing will not be feasible in most schools. 

Physical Distancing

  • Students: A minimum of 3’ between K-12 students and 6’ between PreK and Preschool students in classrooms to the extent possible and distance may be reduced as needed to ensure all students can be accommodated for in-person learning.
    • Because FCPS will be serving over 99% of students in person, physical distancing will not be feasible in most schools.
  • Staff: A minimum of 6’ between students and teachers/staff to the extent possible and a minimum of 6’ between teachers/staff who are not fully vaccinated to the extent possible.
    • Because FCPS will be serving over 99% of students in person, physical distancing will not be feasible in most schools.
  • Visitors will follow staff requirements
  • When schools are at full capacity, physical distancing will be maintained to the extent possible.

Considerations for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) refers to protective clothing, gloves, face shields, goggles, face masks or other equipment designed to protect the wearer from injury or the spread of infection or illness.
  • To minimize the spread of communicable disease, such as COVID-19, PPE should be used correctly. FCPS staff are required to complete training on the use of PPE in MyPDE.
  • Face shields may not be worn as a substitute for a face covering/mask, but only as an additional layer of protection.  The CDC states there is a lack of evidence of the effectiveness to control the spread of the virus when face shields are used alone.
  • School staff will need to make considerations for the necessary PPE on a case-by-case basis, depending on the activity, physical proximity, and level of potential exposure throughout the day.
    • Moderate Risk: Tasks include those that require close contact with (i.e., within six (6) feet of) people who are not known or suspected to have COVID-19. These precautions are recommended since some students with the disease may not be showing any symptoms at the time of interaction. Although there is risk with these tasks, not all PPE listed may be needed for all situations. These tasks include, but are not limited to first aid, oral medication administration, vision screening, hearing screening, consultation, blood glucose checks (diabetes care), and inhalers for students with asthma.
    • High Risk: Tasks that require close contact (i.e., within six (6) feet of) with students’ bodily fluids or aerosol generating procedures such as suctioning of airways, toileting, feeding, transferring or direct contact with bodily fluids or secretions.
  • Specific guidance regarding what types of PPE are required during in- school instruction can be found at: PPE Strategies: Prevention of Infectious Diseases such as COVID-19
  • The Office of Procurement Services (OPS), the Office of Facilities Management (OFM) and the Office of Safety and Security (OSS) work together to provide the necessary supplies and infrastructure to schools. Supply allocations are based on the number of employees, student enrollment and program need. OFM has installed physical distancing signage (on walls and floors) and counter shields in schools and administrative offices. OSS will continue to work closely with the FCHD to monitor COVID-19 and provide health and safety information as we return to work and school.
  • Below is a list of all supplies and materials that are available to all FCPS sites:
    1. Hand sanitizer – 1-gallon pump bottles are available at the warehouse as needed.
    2. Face coverings/masks – For students, staff or visitors who choose to wear a mask, a cloth or disposable mask will be made available by the school.
    3. Gloves – to be used in custodial cleaning and by staff working in special capacities (i.e., special education, technology specialists, bus drivers, etc).
    4. Face shields – for use by bus drivers/attendants and special education staff and any other staff upon request.
    5. Gowns – for use by bus drivers/attendants and special education staff
    6. Cleaning supplies – additional supplies will be provided for custodians to use during routine and enhanced cleaning.  High schools will continue to use the VMI process.  Elementary schools and middle schools can order additional supply through FOCUS.
    7. Spray bottles and paper towels – to be used with Virex cleaning solution during enhanced cleaning by custodians and, possibly, staff cleaning their individual workspaces.
  • All the PPE currently available from the warehouse has been reviewed and approved by School Health and are acceptable.

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Monitor Your Health Daily

Daily Health Screening Questionnaire

  • Parents, caregivers or guardians, are strongly encouraged to monitor their children for symptoms of infectious illness every day through home-based symptom screening and students who are sick should not attend in-person instruction.
  • All staff and visitors must complete the daily health screening questionnaire prior to arriving on campus. The daily health screening questionnaire will be completed on an honor basis and will not be required to be submitted to the school. 
  • A daily health screening questionnaire is available in the following languages: EnglishAmharicArabicChinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
  • Parents/guardians will receive frequent reminders from FCPS via multiple modes of communication, reminding them to complete their daily health screening questionnaire and to keep sick students at home. These communications will be developed in collaboration with the Office of Communications and Community Relations (OCCR), Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement (OPLFE) and Language Services.
  • Any student, staff or visitor demonstrating symptoms of illness should stay home to help “Stop the Spread” of COVID-19. 

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces  daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.
  • Transportation vehicles will be cleaned/disinfected twice a day at the completion of each morning and afternoon routes.(Added 9/16/21)

Ventilation

  • FCPS uses mechanical ventilation systems to provide classrooms with outside air.  FCPS schools are designed to ventilate fresh outside air and mitigate the buildup of odors and pollutants.  Fresh air is filtered and conditioned before it enters the space.
  • FCPS uses MERV 13 filters to provide additional filtration to classrooms and offices, but at times may supplement school ventilation systems with MERV 10 or MERV 8 due to nation-wide supply shortages.  
  • Every other window will be opened on buses (vans where possible) to provide increased ventilation. 

Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Schools

Office of Facilities Management (OFM) has worked closely with FCPS custodians to ensure their cleaning processes.  FCPS custodians are using an effective disinfectant and sanitizing products to clean our facilities every day. 

  • Clean high touch surfaces at least once a day or as often as determined is necessary. Examples of high-touch surfaces include pens, counters, tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, stair rails, elevator buttons, desks, keyboards, phones, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • Cafeteria tables and chairs must be cleaned and disinfected between lunch periods by custodial staff using Virex II 256.   Ensure no students or visitors are present in the room while disinfecting surfaces.  If surface cleaning with Virex II 256 must be done with students in the room, maintain a minimum of 6 feet between surfaces being disinfected and students in the room until the surface is completely dry.  For maximum effectiveness, allow surface to remain wet for 10 minutes.  However, a spray and wipe application is effective to a lesser degree when the full dwell time cannot be met.
  • Students and staff members are allowed to bring disinfecting wipes for personal use, so long as they are an EPA-approved disinfectant.  Virex II 256 will be used for all custodial cleaning and disinfecting and pre-mixed spray bottles of Virex II 256 will be available to teachers or staff members who choose to disinfect their work areas and do not bring their own disinfectant.  Teachers and staff members who do choose to clean with Virex must first complete a short safety video.  Facilities has also developed a Virex application video to help schools and offices when using the cleaning chemical.

Maintaining Water Quality at FCPS

  • The FCPS Safety Manual (VPN Required) provides security, maintenance and emergency procedures based on national and state regulations – including water systems.  
  • All FCPS facilities in use are connected to public water supplies (exc. Clifton ES), which are required to meet water quality standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and enforced by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).  
  • The safety of the drinking water is primarily the responsibility of the water authority that supplies the water.  Many of these water authorities have designated FCPS buildings as their distribution sampling sites.
  • The Offices of Safety and Security and Facilities Management work collaboratively with the water authority to provide samples at these designated sites each year. 
  • Since the beginning of the global pandemic, the water authority has not provided FCPS with recommendations for increased testing or frequency of flushing water systems.  However, the Office of Facilities Management began performing regular flushing of plumbing fixtures and systems at all schools in June of 2020, which reduces buildup of contaminants in the water lines.  
    • Work is scheduled and tracked through an automated work order system and carried out by maintenance technicians, custodians and/or operating engineers. 
    • Water system flushes occur on an average of once per month, with frequencies expected to go up as students return. 
    • In addition to centrally managed flushing, school staff are encouraged to include flushing of sinks, fountains and toilets as part of their daily schedule of activities.
  • FCPS will continue to monitor and update its procedures in accordance with VDH, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), and local health department guidance for reopening schools

Water Fountains

  • Water fountains can be used as normal and no longer need to be covered.
  • Custodians should clean high-touch surfaces (faucets and handles) at least once a day.
  • Students should be encouraged to bring their own water bottle for use during the day.  

Visitors, Mentors and Volunteers to FCPS Facilities

  • Visitors, mentors or volunteers may enter FCPS buildings provided they adhere to the following conditions:
    • All visitors to buildings must follow sign in and sign out procedures, as directed by the school, at the main office.
    • All visitors/volunteers must  follow all FCPS layered prevention strategies
    • Any student participating in distance learning that must visit the building for any reason will be required to complete the daily health screening questionnaire (on an honor basis) while in the building.
    • Delivery personnel are NOT required to complete a daily health screening questionnaire or sign-in if only dropping off or picking up items.  If delivery personnel have to spend an extended period of time on site, they must complete the visitor procedures. 
  • COVID-19 Vaccinations are not required for visitors/volunteers

Buses and Vans

  • When COVID-19 community levels are low or medium, masks are optional for all staff in schools and offices and on FCPS buses/ vans.
  • Every other window will be opened on buses (vans where possible) to provide increased ventilation.
  • FCPS Regulation 2109 outlines requirements for students seeking an exemption from the face covering requirement while being transported on FCPS buses/vans.

Monitoring by Health & Safety Teams

  • FCPS will be using an independent third-party firm to perform safety team observations.  Safety teams will observe and report on the health and safety mitigation measures in schools and make sure they are being implemented with accuracy.  
  • In preparation for a strong return to 5 days of in-person instruction, FCPS will also continuously monitor our community health conditions as well as adhere to Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

Care Room/School Health Room/Responding to Illness

School Health Room

  • Support to students in the health room will continue to be provided by the School Health Aide or FCPS personnel (unlicensed assistive personnel) trained and oriented to support the health room.
  • Students with Individualized Health or Action Plans who require specialized care, medication administration and emergency care will be seen in the health room. Parents will be required to bring in medications needed to support their student during the school day prior to or on the first day of school.

Care Room Establishment, Requirements, and Staffing

  • The predetermined care room is a designated location and must be separate from the health room. It may be necessary for schools to identify a second care room due to the requirement for physical distancing and room capacity.
  • A designated staff member or School Health Aid (SHA) ust be assigned to supervise students while in the predetermined care room should the need arise. The staff will be provided with a gown or lab coat, gloves, and a face shield as appropriate. The staff member assigned should complete the trainings on COVID-19 and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • The Personal Protective Equipment - FCPS Staff Training video is now available in MyPDE. Users can access the video via the direct link below or by searching for any of the key words in the title (examples: “personal”, “protective”, “PPE”).
  • Direct Link to Video: Personal Protective Equipment - FCPS Staff Training
  • Staff will need to be available at various times throughout the day to supervise any student exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 while awaiting pick up by the parent or guardian.

Becoming Ill While at School

 

Students sent home from the Care Room with COVID-like Illness

  • Students sent home from the Care Room may return to school when ALL of the following are met:
    • The student is fever-free without fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours AND
    • The student’s symptoms have improved AND
    • One of the following:
      • Proof of a Negative COVID-19 Test
        • PCR (test result from lab or physician), or
        • Rapid Antigen (test result from lab or physician), or
        • Home Antigen – a picture (not the actual test card) of a negative home test result AND a signed FCPS COVID-19 Negative Home Antigen Test Parent/Guardian Attestation Form.

          OR
           
        • Healthcare Provider’s Note
          Note from a healthcare provider following a clinical evaluation stating the cause of symptoms is not COVID-19 and clearing the student to return to school.

          OR
        • Isolation

          Isolation period for students of 5 days. The student may return on days 6-10 when the following criteria is met: ​

          • Fever free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication)
          • Symptoms are improving
          • Student wears a well-fitting mask for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10) after the end of the 5-day isolation period, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance
          • If students are unable to wear a mask when around others, they are to continue to isolate for a full 10 days at home.

At Home Testing Kits

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is contracting with eMed to provide schools with virtually guided rapid antigen testing using BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag At-Home Tests.

Students who are called in absent with COVID Like Illness

  • FCPS does not require return to school documentation for students who are called in absent with COVID-like symptoms/illness.
  • The student must be fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication to return to school.

Students who tested positive or have been diagnosed with COVID-19

  • Based on improving vaccination rates in the Fairfax Health District and low CDC Community Level, FCPS will align with the isolation timeline recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD).
  • Isolation period for students of 5 days. The student may return on days 6-10 when the following criteria is met: 
    • Fever free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication)
    • Symptoms are improving
  • As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) individuals should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10) after the end of the 5-day isolation period.
    • If individuals are unable to wear a mask when around others, they should continue to isolate for a full 10 days at home.

If you have questions about COVID-19, contact your medical provider or find more information on Fairfax County Health Department's website

 

Notifications to School Community, Outbreak Reporting and Focused Contact Tracing

  • Based on updated guidance from the Virginia Department of Health, schools are no longer expected to conduct contact tracing on every individual case of COVID-19.
  • FCPS will monitor cases of COVID-19 in the school community and report suspected outbreaks to the FCHD. In partnership with FCHD, and based on review of school cases, outbreaks and trends, FCPS will support contact tracing as needed to reduce sustained transmission in the school setting. Students or staff identified as close contacts related to an outbreak will be contacted by the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) to provide public heath guidance, including guidance on quarantine.
    • Suspected outbreak criteria:
    • Three cases which have:
      • Onset of illness (or if asymptomatic, positive specimen collection date) within 14 days of each other.
      • Epidemiologically linked (associated in person, place, and time) without another more likely source of exposure (e.g., household, or close contact to a confirmed case outside of the school setting).
    • Multiple cases comprised of:
      • Greater than 10 percent of a group/population without well-defined epi-links (e.g., in a grade, among teachers, school-wide, etc).

FCPS Notifications for Outbreaks:

  • FCPS will notify families of new outbreaks, including any public health guidance or additional layered prevention strategies recommended by the Fairfax County Health Department.

Prioritization Strategy for COVID-19 Outbreaks:

  • For school experiencing multiple outbreaks, FCPS will work with the local health department to implement public health recommendations. 
  • When schools experience four outbreaks, at-home COVID-19 test kits will be distributed to affected groups. Schools will consider additional layered prevention strategies for extra-curricular activities during 7-day period to the extent possible.
    • If more than 300 home test kits are to be distributed for a single outbreak, a testing event will be scheduled.
  • When schools experience greater than four outbreaks and positive cases are at 5 - 10% of school population (5% for HS/SS, 10% for ES/MS), a school wide testing event will be held at the impacted school. 

FCPS Notifications for Positive Case:

  • FCPS will notify families and staff of known cases and potential risk of exposure, while protecting confidentiality of known cases
  • FCPS will send notifications when a positive case is reported
    • Isolation letter will be sent to the COVID-19 positive student/staff member providing public health guidance regarding isolation.
    • A notification will be sent to all staff and community to inform them of the number of positive cases reported at the school site.
    • No communications are sent on days when there are no reported cases.

Students who have been identified as a close contact to someone with COVID-19

When a student is identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 exposure in the community (i.e. not associated with a school-related case), students are recommended to adhere to the CDC and VDH guidance for quarantine, as appropriate. These students are not required to submit documentation to their school to resume in-person activities. If parents/guardians have questions regarding quarantine they can access the Fairfax County Health Department COVID-19 webpage.

COVID-19 Screening Testing - DISCONTINUED on April 22

  • To limit the spread of COVID-19 and to keep schools open safely, Fairfax County Public Schools has been providing a COVID-19 screening and diagnostic testing program to staff as part of its layered prevention strategies
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the community level for Fairfax County is currently classified as low; this classification has continued for the past month. In addition, Fairfax Health District COVID-19 Vaccination Status indicates that more than 70% of all Fairfax Health Districts residents have been fully vaccinated (defined by receiving two of a two-dose vaccine or one of a single-dose vaccine) and more than 80% of residents have received one dose. COVID-19 Vaccinations are free and available at various locations in our community.  
  • Based on these metrics and CDC guidance, FCPS discontinued the following prevention strategies on April 22:
  • If students or employees have symptoms and need to get tested, the following options are available:
    • COVID-19 Testing is available at various sites throughout Fairfax County and the state.
    • At-Home Test Kits - Students leaving the school CARE Room with symptoms of illness are provided an at-home test kit. 
    • Test-To-Stay Program - In partnership with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), FCPS is providing access to the Test-To-Stay program for students who have been identified as a close contact when an outbreak has been declared. This program is available to any student who meets eligibility criteria and whose parent/legal guardian has provided consent for their participation. 

Seating Charts

  • Elementary schools will maintain seating charts for classrooms.
  • Middle and High Schools will maintain seating charts for classrooms.

Food and Nutrition Services (FNS)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture extended the offering of no-cost breakfast and lunch to all students through school year 2021-2022. Visit the FNS website

Indoor Dining

  • Required:
    • Tables/eating areas cleaned with sanitizing solution in between lunches 
    • Sanitizing stations located in cafeteria/eating areas - encourage student use before/after meals
  • Whenever possible:
    • Use outdoor seating areas
    • Space students apart 
    • Physical distancing*, to the extent possible.  FCPS shall not exclude students from in-person learning to keep a minimum distance requirement.
  • See FCPS This Week for more information.

Guidance for Outdoor Playground Areas

  • Face masks are not required outdoors or on the outdoor playground areas; however, students who wish to wear face masks during recess should feel free to do so.

Playground Apparatus (swings, jungle gym, etc.)

  • Playground apparatus (large structural equipment, swings, jungle gym, etc.) is approved for use. 
  • Students must sanitize their hands immediately before and after using the apparatus/equipment.

Playground Equipment (balls, hula hoops, jump ropes)

  • Students should wash/sanitize hands immediately prior to and immediately after use of playground equipment.
  • Students may share equipment during recess.
  • Prior to using any piece of equipment, schools should determine if it can be effectively disinfected.  (Nonporous items such as those made of plastic or rubber are recommended.)  
  • Spray or wipe down equipment during the day if possible.

Online Resources for Outside Play

School Programs/Protocols

FCPS’ Current Athletic Protocols

  • FCPS highly encourages all student athletes to be vaccinated for the spring athletic season, where all sports are held outside.
    • FCPS athletic teams (in-season and out-of-season) will follow current Division-wide mitigation measures and isolation and quarantine requirements as outlined elsewhere in this document.
    • During the spring athletic season, student athletes that are unvaccinated are NOT required to participate in weekly surveillance testing
    • Unvaccinated students who are considered a close contact or test positive for COVID-19 will miss sporting activities and valuable learning time in the classroom as they are required to follow the FCPS protocols for quarantine and isolation.
  • All participants must bring at least 32 ounces of water in a personal water bottle to all practices and competitions.
  • Out-of-season athletic workouts are focused on expanding opportunities for students to be physically active in a familiar environment supervised by trusted adults. The overall health and safety of our students and coaches is paramount.
  • Out-of-season workouts may be held in accordance with the established Virginia High School League (VHSL) athletic calendar under the following parameters:
    • All students participating in out-of-season workouts MUST have a complete, valid VHSL physical on file with the school.
    • Any individual with symptoms associated with COVID-19 should not participate in a workout. Please stay home.
    • All students and coaches must wear a mask in the following situations:
      • During off-campus activities where masks are required by the venue (ex: field trip)
    • All participants must bring at least 32 ounces of water in a personal water bottle to all practices and competitions.
  • In-season athletic activities, including tryouts and regular season and post-season practices and competitions may occur during the appropriate in-season period as defined in the current VHSL athletic calendar.  While certain sports have unique considerations, all in-season athletic activities will be held in accordance with the following parameters:
    • Any individual with symptoms associated with COVID-19 should not participate in a workout. Please stay home.
    • Physical distancing is to be maintained when not actively participating in sport-related activities.
    • All students and coaches must wear a mask in the following situations:
      • During off-campus activities where masks are required by the venue (ex: field trip)
    • All participants must bring at least 32 ounces of water in a personal water bottle to all practices and competitions.
  • Information on sport-specific mitigation protocols is available from the school’s Director of Student Activities (DSA).

Health and Physical Education (HPE)

  • Students must wash/sanitize hands immediately before and after class.
  • Physical distancing to the extent possible should be maintained.
  • It is recommended that teachers engage students in low intensity activity indoors in well-ventilated spaces and engage in higher intensity activity outside. The PACER test should only be administered outdoors as not all parents have opted for their child to remove their mask indoors.
  • Locker rooms will be available for students who choose to change clothes for physical education.  In accordance with Regulation 3210, it is recommended but not required that students change clothes for physical education. Students should wear clothing/footwear that is comfortable and safe for activity and appropriate for the weather.
  • Students may share equipment during class.  Equipment should be sprayed or wiped down with approved cleaning products periodically during the day if possible and at least once per day.
  • Non-porous equipment that can be easily sanitized should be used. 
  • Students are encouraged to have their own water bottle for use during class.
  • Teachers should consider use of electronic whistles.

Dance (K-12)

  • Dance Instruction
    • Sanitize dance barres with approved disinfectants. 
    • Limit the use of shared items between persons when feasible.  Clean shared props and materials with approved disinfectants.
    • It is not recommended for the dance classroom to be utilized for other purposes to ensure protection and cleanliness of flooring. 
  • Dance Performances
    • Any individual with symptoms associated with COVID-19 should not participate in a rehearsal or performance. Please stay home.
    • Students may choose to perform with masks regardless of vaccination status without penalty.
    • Clean and disinfect shared props, equipment and tools after use using a sanitizing solution.
    • It is suggested that participants bring a personal water bottle to all rehearsals and performances.
  • Concessions
    • Concession items shall be individual and pre-packaged.
    • Persons distributing concessions shall wear plastic gloves (similar to food services cafeteria). 
    • Clean and disinfect concession and designated eating areas using a sanitizing solution.  

Theatre Arts (K-12)

  • Theatre Arts Instruction
    • As possible, provide individual scripts, and dramatic texts for students or digital copies (copyright permitting).
    • Limit the use of shared items between persons when feasible.  Clean shared props, materials, and equipment with approved disinfectant.
    • Clean technical tools, materials, and equipment after use and on a regular basis.
    • Students should use individual makeup kits and supplies. Temporary makeup tools should be discarded after single use.
    • Costumes and wigs should be washed and cleaned regularly.
    • If a microphone is used during a theatre event or performance, it must be properly wiped down after each use and stored in a clear location.  Consult your building supervisor to obtain proper cleaning materials approved by Facilities and appropriate for theatre equipment.
  • Theatre Arts Performances
    • Any individual with symptoms associated with COVID-19 should not participate in a rehearsal or performance. Please stay home.
    • Students may choose to perform with masks regardless of vaccination status without penalty.
    • Clean and disinfect shared props, equipment and tools after use using a sanitizing solution.
    • It is suggested that participants bring a personal water bottle to all rehearsals and performances.
  • Concessions
    • Concession items shall be individual and pre-packaged.
    • Persons distributing concessions shall wear plastic gloves (similar to food services cafeteria). 
    • Clean and disinfect concession and designated eating areas using a sanitizing solution.  

Instrumental Music (4-12)

  • Musical instruments that are shared should be properly cleaned between use.
  • Physical distancing around each student to the greatest extent possible.

Choral Music (7-12)

  • Physical distancing around each student to the greatest extent possible.

General Music (K-6)

  • Maximize physical distance to the greatest extent possible, especially while singing, playing the recorder, and participating movement activities that produce increased exhalation. 
  • Musical instruments that are shared should be properly cleaned between uses. Students should wash/sanitize hands immediately prior to and immediately after using instruments that are not easily cleaned, such as xylophones.

School Supplies, Art Materials, and Communal Classroom Items

  • Students should wash hands before and after using communal classroom supplies or equipment.
  • Clean electronic devices, toys, games or learning aids between uses.
  • Cleaning washable items with soap, detergent, or disinfectant wipe after each use. Classroom supplies and equipment need not be disinfected (with an EPA-approved disinfectant) unless a person with a suspected or confirmed infection has been in contact.

Library Program

  • Hand sanitizer station is required at the entrance of the library
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes or disinfectant should be made available at the checkout station and used immediately after checking books in or out.
  • Book Checkout
    • Students and staff are permitted to browse shelves and select books while following distance and mask guidelines
    • Self-checkout stations qualify as high-touch surfaces and should be cleaned according to current guidance
    • The circulation desk may have plexiglass where face-to-face checkout takes place.
  • Additional guidance to support in person library use and browsing can be found in  Library Facility Safety Recommendations

Health and Safety Science (K-12)

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as safety goggles, gloves, aprons, face masks, face shields should not be shared.  If equipment is shared, it should be cleaned between each use by the student using a 10% bleach solution.  Ethanol wipes are not permitted for this use.  It is strongly recommended that individual goggles be issued to each student. If each student has been issued their own goggles they do not need to be cleaned between each use. 
  • Microscopes, Balances and other scientific equipment should be cleaned between use with ethanol wipes found on List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19). Wipe the surface until visibly wet, then allow to evaporate.
  • Students and parents must sign the FCPS safety agreement and complete the safety quiz. Digital versions are acceptable. 
  • Extra effort should be made to minimize the consumption of food and drink in science classrooms.

For additional K- 12 Health and Safety Science Guidance teachers should refer to their mandatory compliance trainings.

Specific Instructional Program Considerations

Generally, all instructional programs will adhere to the guidelines communicated above. Specific guidelines are listed below. The Instructional Services Department staff will continue to develop guidelines that are relevant to various instructional programs.

World Language

Recommend teacher use a clear mask rather than cloth face covering to support instruction.

Assessment Procedures

  • Staff employ the most current school-based health and safety procedures when delivering classroom assessments and standardized assessments.
  • Caregivers may access summary general Health and Safety Protocols for Assessments.

Early Head Start, PreK

  • Universal masking for student and staff continues to apply for Head Start programs.
  • Gowns will be worn and changed after toileting, feeding or consoling a child.
  • A minimum of 6’ between PreK students in classrooms to the extent possible and distance may be reduced as needed to ensure all students can be accommodated for in-person learning.
  • Water bottles are provided by PreK program
  • Disinfectant wipes are not allowed in the PreK and Early Head Start classrooms

Travel Restrictions

 

Forms